Pioneering Excellence this Winter

Denver’s upset of top-five Stony Brook was a milestone in the Pioneers’ program development. Photo: Marc Piscotty

While men’s hockey and lacrosse take up the lion’s share of fan interest for most Pioneer fans, it’s important to recognize some other DU athletic teams who continue to climb higher into national prominence and greater conference impact:

  • The 13th-ranked DU women’s lacrosse team beat its very first top five opponent since coach Liza Kelly took the helm in 2006, upsetting (#6/#4) Stony Brook (N.Y.) University, 11-7, behind Bea Behrins’ three-goal hat trick. This was a statement win for the program.  The Pios have been a top-20 program for a while now, but have had trouble beating the very top echelon teams. Sunday’s win over SBU kept DU undefeated at 4-0 and may see the Pioneers knocking on the door of a top-10 ranking. The Michigan Wolverines come to town this Tuesday to face the surging Pioneers for a 12 noon start.
  • The sixth-ranked DU women’s gymnastics team scored its second highest all-time score (and the highest score of this season) with a 197.725 on Sunday afternoon before over 4,000 fans at Magness Arena, to win the meet over Iowa State and Boise State. This kind of scoring should keep DU in the hunt for a top-five national ranking as the season moves into the stretch run.
  • The DU men’s (#24th nationally) and (#47) women’s swim teams once again won the Summit League title for the sixth year in a row. DU was so dominant at the Summit League Championships that the DU women set an all-time league record for points, and DU mens and women swimmers won 37 of 38 of the swimming events overall.  That’s an incredible achievement – perhaps the swimming equivalent of winning the Summit League basketball title game by 30 points, and repeating the winning margin for six straight years.
  • DU women’s basketball (15-12, 8-6 Summit league) continued its rise into a winning program with a dramatic road win at North Dakota.  Often-injured senior Pioneer Haley Simental hit the long-range three point shot-of-her-college-career to send the game into overtime at the buzzer, in a game that the Pios would later win, 92-91. With the OT win, the Pios’ have earned at least a top-five seed at the Summit League tournament next month.
  • The DU women’s tennis team, ranked #40 nationally, are 7-2 this year in a sport where 317 teams compete nationally.  DU has already defeated brand name schools such as Oregon, Wisconsin, BYU and Colorado this season.

All of these teams deserve our support, and we look forward to seeing how they compete in the coming months.



13 thoughts on “Pioneering Excellence this Winter”

  1. I see you left off Men’s basketball….or as 5B would say it’s just one of those years. Keep on sippin the Kool-Aid.

    1. You should be concerned about an overpaid men’s basketball staff that is regressing and losing to the likes of Western Illinois. Please keep in mind that DU has the highest basketball operating budget in the Summit. Where are they at?!? Oh yeah, hanging out in mom’s basement!

  2. DU has FOUR programs in the NCAA top 10 of their respective sports as I write this – Hockey #6, Gymnastics #6, Men’s Lacrosse #8 and women’s lax #7, and skiing would certainly be top 5 if that sport had a poll. Men’s swimming is top 30, and women’s swimming is top 50. Women’s tennis is top 40. And both DU soccer teams went to the NCAA tournament this year, as did volleyball. Amazing when you consider our size, location, sports budget, how long DU has been full D-I and the competition.

    Pass me that Kool-Aid all day long.

    1. Then why doesn’t this blog write about these successes? Too busy writing about another men’s basketball blowout??? Wait, Those articles haven’t showed up a lot lately, hmmmmmm?

      Oh well. Summit on notice!!!!! Two conference wins!!!! Just one of those years!!!! Injuries!!!

      1. No one is paid for writing on this blog. We’re all busy DU fans who choose to write here for fun. If there are more potential writers interested in covering these sports for us, please reach out!

      2. Not the point. You don’t write about them because they are an afterthought to the larger DU & Denver community and would get zero readership & engagement. And the only sport that is truly mainstream that DU has is terrible (325 out of 353) and you clowns don’t want to admit that.

      3. What an absolute moron you are. I do pity any people that may be in your sad life…

      4. Hey Rusty TromBONER! Only morons here are the blind overpaid idiots at DU and on this blog that think Men’s Basketball is headed in the right direction. But hey, let’s all keep telling ourselves it’s just “one of those years” as you sit at home and watch the Summit League tournament through your crimson colored glasses.

      5. Piofanbusdriver may be a little rude in his characterizations, but there is certainly some truth to what he/she speaks. I’ll be the first to admit that DU basketball is terrible this year, and perhaps even more painful for us fans because season expectations were so much higher. It’s been a very brutal story, filled with injuries, poor play, lack of development and largely unwatchable game this season. We’ve been up front with many stories and comments chronicling the team’s underperformance this year and while our coverage record isn’t perfect, it’s understandable that even the die hard fans are losing interest.

      6. True, Swami. The basketball team has been a major disappointment this year. Of course that leads to less interest in it. But quite ridiculous for a troll to say that it shouldn’t be covered. This blog does a great job of covering various DU sports, and it is much appreciated. Mind numbing stupidity for someone to try to troll the people that are actually talking about DU sports. And the obvious answer–start your own f-ing blog to cover what you want to be covered. Otherwise, appreciate the great efforts and products of the blog. Muchas Gracias!

      7. Thanks, Trombone. This volunteer blog puts out more overall DU sports coverage than any other source besides the school itself, and is one of the few places I know of where you can find an actual fan community for DU sports providing feedback on what we see, cheer and read.

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